“Passion is everything. I make glass because I love the process and everything that surrounds it, ” Joseph Webster
Local glass artist Joseph Webster joined Maine Art Hill in May of this year. A young emerging artist specializing in Venetian style glass techniques features a variety of his pieces at The Works at Studios on Maine Art Hill.
Joseph is a Maine native, who first discovered glass at Haystack Mountain School of Craft while still in high school. He graduated from Deering High School in Portland in 2010 and went on to receive his BFA with a concentration in Glass from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2015.
“In addition to my formal education, I studied under several renowned artists, including James Mongrain and Jeff Mack,” shares Webster.
His inspiration comes from traditional Venetian style techniques, as well as contemporary artists who specialize in these techniques.
“Over the years I have been making glass I have always strived to understand and refine the techniques behind the process. Through understanding the history of glassmaking I have gained a great understanding of how the material works,” explains Webster. “This understanding has allowed me to create the ideas that I envision into tangential works.”
His Ellipse Series is one form of his work you will find at The Works. Coming from a desire to loosen up and have some fun, Joseph’s Ellipse Series was born.
“These are organic, fun forms with contrasting colors. They nest inside one another to create beautiful compositions,” he explains. “I start by blowing symmetrical, even forms, then I take a turn in the opposite direction and form them into organic ovoid shapes.”
The variety of shape, color, and composition are endless. These pieces are uniquely different from any other in his current body of work.
“Glass is an amazing material that behaves like no other. It is an unforgiving and humbling medium to work with. But that is what makes it exciting to me,” says Webster. “It is something that in my eyes cannot be perfected. It is an endless journey of education, refinement, and practice to better myself as a craftsman that keeps my passion flowing. ”
Webster’s Float Series, a dynamic black, and brilliantly colored glass design was developed as an ode to the old fishing float designs that have been replicated repeatedly throughout history.
“As an avid angler, I became fascinated by these small objects and saw much beauty and potential in them,” shares Webster. “This series brings the stunning forms, contrasting colors and childhood nostalgia I associate with these floats into this body of work.”
Another series you will find at The Works is his Doodle Series. This is a body of work where Joseph uses simple geometric forms as a canvas for filigree glass techniques.
“After years of studying classic Italian glass techniques involving filigree patterns such as Zanfirico and Reticello, I began to stray away from the norm and developed the designs I call ‘doodles.’”
While being modern, fun and loose, Webster hopes with this series, to create his unique linework designs while still honoring tradition.
Finally, we are thrilled to have Joseph’s stemware. These are regarded as some of the finest handmade objects on the market.
“I dedicated much of my early career to the development of technique and refining my craft. I do my best to honor traditional Italian glassmaking techniques,” says Webster, “ but I create unique one-of-a-kind pieces. Made by hand, start to finish, one vessel at a time.”
We welcome you to come in and visit The Works at Studios on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill in Kennebunk. Studios have six different and unique gallery spaces and open every day at 10 am. It is a must stop when in town and wandering through all the Maine Art Hill spaces.